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The Milky Way as a Star Formation Engine

Abstract: VIALACTEA will bring to a common forum the major new-generation surveys of the Galactic Plane from 1um to the radio, both in thermal continuum and in atomic and molecular lines, from Europe-funded space missions and ground-based facilities, to engage one of the fundamental challenges in Galactic astronomy: to quantify Galaxy-wide the relationship between the physical agents responsible for the onset and the regulation of star formation in a spiral galaxy and the resulting Rate and Efficiency of star formation, and obtain a "star formation recipe" that will be a cornerstone to trace the star formation history of galaxies back to their formation. The new state-of-the-art Milky Way paradigm is offering today, for the first time, the possibility to deploy a coherent science analysis methodology that can be uniformly applied from the Galactic Center to the outskirts of the Galaxy. A homogeneous and inter-calibrated evolutionary classification of the cold and dense clumps hosting young forming clusters at a variety of evolutionary stages will allow to deliver a new 3D model of the Galaxy, mapping the essential critical parameters like column density thresholds, rate and efficiency of star formation in the Galaxy To make such an analysis possible in a timely and effective fashion, we will develop a suite of next-generation 3D-visualization tools that will integrate visual analytics, on-the-fly handling of multi-SED radiative transfer modeling and data mining/machine-learning technologies to incorporate the astronomer's know-how into a set of supervised workflows with decision making capabilities. The focus on research and analysis of data obtained from European space missions in combination with data from Europe-funded ground facilities, will enable time-effective exploitation of steradiant-scale multi-wavelength Galactic Plane surveys through new 3D-based visual analytics frameworks, making VIALACTEA's objectives timely and totally relevant for FP7-SPACE-2013-1.

Dettagli tecnici

Struttura INAF: IAPS Roma
Bando: FP7-SPACE-2013-1
Riferimento contratto n. 607380
Inizio: 01-10-2013
Durata: 36 mesi
Coordinamento: INAF IAPS ROMA

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